From rainforest fruits to a cozy tonic recipe made with mood-boosting Anima Mundi herbs, here’s what this herbalist eats daily…
This post is part of an ongoing content swap with The Chalkboard Mag.
Modern life is best lived, it seems, when balanced with ancient wisdom — especially when it comes to health and wellness. Educated in the art, science and spirit of herbal healing, Adriana Ayales is the founding herbalist and educator behind NYC’s Anima Mundi. Adriana is deeply connected to the power of plants and devoted to bringing their ancient healing potential to the modern world.
Originally from Costa Rica, Adriana is skilled in crafting a wide spectrum of health-supporting remedies made with herbs and plants from around the world. Integrating her studies on rainforest tribes, Ayurveda, Chinese-Daoist Medicine, and European style alchemy, her work at Anima Mundi is fascinating to say the least.
Eat with the seasons, and grow your own food.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:
A plethora of seasonal fruits. In the jungle we’re ultra lucky in this department: mangosteen, rambutan, papaya, actually real bananas, guanabana, uchuvas, wild berries.
All kinds of squash, sweet potatoes, kale, microgreens, fresh culinary herbs, squash, carrots, etc.
Ferments: kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, vegan cheeses.
Fresh harvest beans, stoneground corn tortillas.
RECIPE STAPLES ALWAYS ON HAND:
Garlic, dill, shallots, miso, coconut vinegar, ginger.
Homemade hummus, vegan cheeses, tabbouleh and a bean salad of sorts.
Sumac, dill, smoked paprika, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon.
Fresh or smoked wild caught fish, beans, dark greens.
I buy in bulk!
BEST LABEL READING TIP:
Don’t buy anything that’s not from nature, and that you can’t pronounce.
FAVORITE VEGETABLE + WHAT YOU MAKE WITH IT:
Kale. Marinated kale salad with seaweed lathered in garlic tahini dressing.
MUST-HAVE PANTRY STAPLES:
Essential tea basics: rose petals, calendula petals, tulsi, lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, blue lotus, mucuna, ashwagandha, vegan collagen, medicinal mushrooms (reishi, agaricus, turkey tail, chaga, lions mane, shiitake, maiitake, etc.!), matcha, the never-ending wildcrafted herb/tincturing section (and so, so many more herbs!), organic coffee, coconut vinegar, every possible kind of seaweed, cassava flour, almond flour, nutritional yeast, different salts (pink, black, red, etc), maple syrup and coconut sugar.
CRAZIEST THING I BUY:
Recently, ackee fruit.
ALWAYS IN MY KITCHEN:
A hearty, gluten-free banana or pumpkin bread.
Homemade coconut, cashew or almond milk.
SKIP LABELS THAT READ:
Partially hydrogenated oil, bleached (anything), artificial sweeteners, food colorings, MSG, etc.
FOR LAST MINUTE ENTERTAINING:
Nut cheese with chopped veggies and seed crackers.
FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP:
Farmers’ markets (always!). Yet, my favorite grocery shop in the world is Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.
SIMPLE GO-TO RECIPE:
Been loving this lately: Blue Lotus Mucuna Mocha. (See recipe below!)
BEST FOOD MEMORY:
Potluck and BBQ’ing with family and foodie friends on the beach under an incredible starry night.
BLUE LOTUS MUCUNA MOCHA
First, steep 1 teaspoon blue lotus for 3 to 5 minutes in about 2 oz of hot water. Strain, and combine with the other ingredients in a blender. Blend for 10 seconds, and enjoy immediately.